The revenues seen coming from taxing overseas Greek-owned real estate may be used by the government to resolve the problem it created by agreeing to place a value-added tax on private education.
Alternate Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis told Mega TV on Thursday that one of the measures that could replace the 23 percent VAT on tuition fees would be a tax on properties abroad. However, even if that tax is imposed it will take some time before it is implemented, as no preparations have been made for this ambitious measure. Therefore, one cannot expect it to bring in any revenues before 2017.
According to what Alexiadis has recently been saying, the government plans to introduce a tax similar to one introduced in Italy by former prime minister Mario Monti in 2012, from which properties on which the owners had already paid a property tax to authorities in the country where it was located were exempt. However, that plan was amended several times to avoid a clash with the provisions of double taxation avoidance agreements between states.
That law also exempted a variety of properties, such as those owned by companies, foundations and social security funds, among others, thereby considerably reducing the scope of the tax.
Market professionals estimate that the measure will not fetch any significant revenues into state coffers, especially if those with overseas properties decide to pass them over to a company and thus exempt from the tax.